Photo by Chelsee Ivan
The first time I saw FRIGS live was in Boston, at the tail end of a noise rock slump. Two years of fuzzed-out basement shows and a bad habit of forgetting my earplugs at home had left me at least a dozen decibels poorer in both ears and more than a little apprehensive about standing anywhere within striking distance of a cranked amp. But the Toronto rock scene is always a good bet, and with fellow Canadians HSY on the bill as well, I tucked those plugs into my pocket and followed my heart to Club Bohemia.
It’s a wonderful thing, brushing up against the unknown, but FRIGS went and ripped a hole straight through it that night. Despite their drummer pulling a second shift with HSY that tour, the band went off, sparing no one from the all-consuming, full-body roar they create on stage. Now that they’ve released their debut LP, Basic Behavior, you can get a taste of it off-stage as well.
The sound is tightly-wound, but deeply emotive. FRIGS hurl themselves at the wall of existential frustration, at times maintaining a stately post-punk pulse, occasionally erupting into frantic, borderline psychedelic hysterics as guitars, vocals, and drums lash out in panic-attack waves of delicious noise. From the ping-ponging slapback and measured thump of opener “Doghead,” to the slow inferno vibe-out of closer “Trashyard,” FRIGS aren’t here for your complacency. Basic Behavior is a record of action, a taste of what’s possible when you get up and do the damn thing.
Ahead of their show at Alphaville on March 3 with Bambara, Weeping Icon, Reverent, and Dean Cercone, AdHoc spoke to vocalist Bria Salmena about the record and misguided attempts to classify their ferocious sound.